Friday, August 31, 2007

A Hospital Visit Later

After lunch on Wednesday (August 29, 2007) I started feeling a little "off". My belly started feeling a bit achey, not really painful, but uncomfortable. I got nervous and called the nurse from my ob's office to describe what I was feeling. She recommended I got to the hospital because I'm pregnant with twins, and it was possible that I was having some contractions.

They checked me in quickly when I got there, and I sat in the "Early Labor Lounge" while they tried to assess me. I thought this was a misnomer, since there really wasn't any "lounging" going on. During the time I sat there, I'm pretty sure I heard at least 2 women in full blown labor and one (who sounded like she'd had a few too many drinks) talking about having blackouts. I was not in too much pain, but all the background noise and discussions going on in the room were stressful in and of themselves.

They hooked me up to the contractions monitor and ran a couple of tests. The monitor indicated I was contracting about every 3 minutes, but I was surprisingly comfortable. After discussing my situation with my doctor, the nurse returned and gave me a shot of terbutaline (sp?) to stop the contractions. They also conducted another test which I believe they called a fetal fibronectin test. They explained to me that they were looking for a negative result, which would indicate to them that I was unlikely to deliver within the next few weeks. While waiting on these results, my doctor sent orders to keep me overnight for observation.

I was wheeled to the Perinatal Intensive Care Unit where I was to stay for further observation. Later that evening, my doctor stopped in to check-up on me and update me on how we would move forward. We were still waiting for the results of the fetal fibronectin, but based on what I was feeling when I came in and the nurse's assessment he thought I could have gone into pre-term labor. He wanted to confirm his suspicion with an ultrasound the next morning, and he was still waiting to see the fetal fibronectin results. He told me that worst case scenario I would be sent home on a t-pump so that I could inject myself every few days to stave off future contractions. He also said I would be on bedrest from here forward. He told me he wanted to see the ultrasound results to see if my cervix was changing, and we would move forward from there.
The next morning I had my ultrasound, and the results were all positives. The babies were fine, continuing to grow as expected. As of the day of the ultrasound, the girl weighed 1 lb. 8 oz. and the boy weighed 1 lb. 9 oz. The ultrasound also indicated that my cervix was unchanged by the contractions I had experienced. I was encouraged, so now I just had to wait on my doctor to review the results. The on-call doctor showed up later that morning and had them remove me from everything (IV & contractions monitor). He had reviewed my ultrasound, and he said it was highly unlikely that I would deliver anytime soon due to the length and condition of the cervix. He also said I did not need the t-pump as he felt that he would rather not use it unless it was absolutely necessary. He released me to go home, and he had me schedule a follow-up to check my progress. I was, to say the least, completely relieved.

One important development that happened as a result of my visit was that he had them check my blood sugar while I was in the hospital. The nurse took a fasting blood sugar and found that I was marginally high (100 mg/dl). He said the terbutaline could cause a temporary increase in blood sugar but that I should schedule for a glucose screening in about a week. The idea of developing high blood sugar scared me a bit since I had not read much about gestational diabetes, so I did not know what the risks were to me or to the babies.

I started doing my research, and I was encouraged to find that gestational diabetes (GD) can usually be controlled by diet and exercise. It can necesitate insulin, but most patients are successfully treated without it. I did find that uncontrolled GD can cause complications, mostly during delivery and following for the babies. My own body could also suffer if I failed to control my blood sugar.

I went out later that week and bought a glucose meter. I started monitoring my blood sugar several times during the day to see how my body was responding to different foods. I read what I could about GD & diabetic diets, and I tried to cut the obvious "no-no's" (pop, candy, desserts, etc.). Amazingly, I found that in 3 days I lost 6 lbs. of water weight, so I knew this realization was an important part of making the rest of my pregnancy as healthy as possible.

I scheduled my 1-hour glucose test a week after leaving the hospital, and I was showing elevated blood sugar. They asked me to schedule a 3-hour glucose test, so they could confirm the validity of the 1-hour test. Sure enough, my test was positive. I failed by a point, but it was probably for the better since that will force me to eat better.

I have since met with a dietician to discuss my meal plan. I continue to be amazed that these changes have almost completely changed my outlook for the pregnancy. I have been able to have almost complete control over my swelling. I have lots of energy. I don't feel heavy (even though I am). I don't have the feeling of fullness I used to have, and I feel confident that I will make it to 30-something weeks. My only real concern is that I have lost 9 lbs. since I changed my diet, and I am at times concerned that the babies are getting what they need. My doctor has reassured me that the babies are fine, so I am just focusing on trying to eat well and take care of myself.

In retrospect, my trip to the hospital was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me. I think it opened my eyes to the seriousness of my physical well-being and how I have the power to change it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Read at your own risk

I need to vent, so I mean it when I say "Read at your own risk".

I was reading some news today when I should have been napping, and I came across this story.

I was pretty angry and saddened after reading it. Some people really should not be allowed to be parents. Obviously, I don't know the reasons why this woman left her baby in the car for 8 hours, but I don't care. There simply is no good reason to leave your baby in the car in 100 degree weather. I hate the thought of thinking what this poor baby's last hours of life were like.

An appropriate story that illustrates how "We Don't Choose", and how sad it really is sometimes. This woman is an excellent example of why some children are just better off with someone else other than their birth parents. I feel guilty when I lose my temper with Jameson, but I would protect him with my life. This woman was obviously too consumed by other unimportant concerns that she didn't realize her baby was going to die in that car. . . or maybe she did realize that - even worse.

Sometimes life really is just cruel and unfair. Why bring a life into this world if you are not going to care for it? I just don't understand it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I'm working on my 6th post, and I have yet to tell anyone other than those who found out through others that I have been blogging. I'm really bad at this whole communication thing - especially right now. Pregnancy can be a great excuse for being lazy! Seriously, I think I've been afraid to tell my family for fear they might read it and pressure me to blog more often or find I've written something that offends or embarrasses them. Maybe this will be the week I tell them.

Jameson had another rough night last night, but his dad bore the brunt of it. To make a long story short, he got completely out of his nighttime routine (see James's blog for the full story), and went to bed without a bath or a bedtime snack. I warned James that he would probably wake up and be hungry, and he said he would take care of it if he did. Sure enough, at around 2:30, Jameson wakes up and James can't get him back to sleep. I get up and go downstairs to get him some cereal. He eats a few bites and then throws a tantrum because he wants to play with James's email. He's tired, hungry, and 2, so everything he's not allowed to do is a crisis. After a series of angry grunts and groans, James takes him downstairs to feed him and calm him down.

Ordinarily, I would help, but the stress and lack of sleep is making me sore so I go lay down instead. Thank God for "Dad" because I am not much help these days at night. From what I am told though, Jameson finally went back to sleep at around 4:30, and I don't remember another thing until waking up today at 9.

Everyday is a new challenge with JJ. These last few weeks he's been really into hiding or "escondid" ("esconder" is "to hide" in Spanish) as he calls it. He's likes to wrap himself up in the curtains and yell for you to come find him. Usually he's too anxious to stay hidden, and just comes out screaming and laughing once you start looking for him. Once he gets into something, his energy is incessant. When he wants your attention or he wants you to do something, he knows that if he repeats it over and over you will eventually get annoyed and oblige. I am a bit frightened of where this road will lead.

He is growing up to be quite the chatter box. I think he is only quiet during the day while he is sleeping or eating. He is opinionated, and he is already bossing around other kids - younger and older. We were at Cracker Barrel yesterday waiting on a carry out order. I took him over to the toys section to keep him entertained while we waited. A little girl that appeared to be around 7 or 8 years old was playing with a toy that apparently JJ wanted. He told her "No, nena" ("Nena" means "little girl") and batted at the toy. I told him he could play with something else, but he seemed determined that the little girl should not be playing with that toy. He is obviously not shy, but I am not yet convinced whether that is a good or bad thing.

The days pass so quickly that it often makes me sad to think I can never get those past moments back. I remember what I can, but I know so many precious moments have passed that I may not remember years from now. I will be content if I live long enough to watch my children grow up and start their own families.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Babies at Week 21

Well, here they are finally! After what seemed like an eternity, we finally got to see the babies again. If James is clever enough, we might post some ultrasound video later. As always, it's amazing to see the little babies living inside of me, but my endurance is definitely wearing thin. I thought the pregnancy would go much faster since I have plenty to keep me busy, but I still have a long road ahead. Nonetheless, we are very blessed to even have any children. Physically, I'm hanging in there, but another 19 weeks seems like such a long time considering how big I am already.

Baby A is the boy, and Baby B is the girl, but we still have no names. We just had the ultrasound on Tuesday, but my lack of energy has kept me from posting until today (I'm sure I'll regret it tomorrow morning). Unfortunately, James didn't get to enjoy the ultrasound since Jameson was not at all cooperative. They waited in the car; however, the technician did manage to record most of it for him. The recorded version somehow just is not as exciting as the "live" one. We're having another one in 4 weeks though, so at least he'll get another chance to see them in utero before they are born.

We are still very excited, but overwhelmed at the idea of not knowing what to expect. In usual Davis style, we have made no preparations for these two, but we'll get around to it eventually . . . even if it means we're scrambling after they're born. I'm excited at the thought of finally meeting these 2 little people and seeing how they change our lives.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Joys (and lesser joys) of Pregnancy

It's been some time since my last post, and although I always have JJ stories, I think it's time to pay some attention to the other two kids. I'm somewhere in the middle of week 21, and next week we have an ultrasound scheduled. Apparently, ultrasounds for "high-risk" pregnancies (as all multiple births are considered) are more detailed than those for low-risk pregnancies. In our upcoming scan, they are supposed to check all major organ systems and do the usual 20-week ultrasound stuff. I'm just excited to see the babies again and see how they are growing. I always worry a bit since I am not the pillar of pregnancy health.

I don't do prenatal vitamins (I think they just tax my kidneys). I take children's chewables. I drink caffeine. I am certain I must overeat. I don't avoid everything under the sun like many books and websites will tell you. I do my research and do what feels right to me. I try to make sure I get my fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and I try not to overexert myself. I do wish I would exercise more, but I am bad at doing things in moderation. All things considered, I am probably like many pregnant women who are trying to have a healthy pregnancy but find it difficult to change their lifestyles in one fell swoop. Seeing the babies on the ultrasound hopefully will help to reassure me that I'm at least doing some things right.

I'm beginning to feel the babies' movements more and more, and they are starting to get stronger. I always like the feeling of being completely distracted by something and all of a sudden feeling a little baby kick. It reminds me that I have 2 little people inside of me. I'm sure all pregnant women know what I'm talking about, but having 2 adds another dimension. The patterns of movement are definitely different. If my memory serves me at all, I believe the technician at our last ultrasound told me that the boy was up higher and the girl was down lower in the uterus. It's kind of neat to know that because now when I feel movement, I tend to associate with a specific baby. We still haven't named them, but we probably will not settle on names until after they are born. I believe in meeting this new little person before we give them a name.

Physically, not much has changed for me. Obviously, I am bigger, but my level of comfort has not changed much. I have my good days and my bad ones, but I try to focus on the babies which seems to make the bad days a bit easier. Sleeping was a challenge over the last few nights since my carpal tunnel seemed to flare up, but I think it's starting to improve. If I can make it to a healthy 36 or 37 weeks, I will be happy.

Not much else to report at this point, but once I locate the most recent ultrasound pictures, I will post those along with our pictures from next week. At least if I post them, I won't worry about it when I'm not sure where I put them a few months down the road. For now, the babies (and their momma) need their sleep.